Wizard Mat Designer 5.03


True Grumbler
Mar 10, 2004
Finally got my upgrade from 4.8 and have been playing with it for a few days.

The new features in 5.03 are superb. An impressive programming accomplishment, well done Wizard.

However, there are one or two tweaks which would put the icing on the cake for me.

Perhaps other users have their own wish list.

Edit New Mat/New Openings.
When OK clicked, why not use the defaults to fill in any blank fields rather than insisting that every field be manually completed? This would be very useful for border dimensions as most framers will have a ‘favourite’ border size which is used repeatedly. How nice it would be not to have to enter this every time.

The auto-filling of the border Top and Sides when the Bottom dimension is entered is a very thoughtful feature, but why not go the next step, and set the Sides equal to the Top when the Top dimension is first changed?

Keyboard shortcuts.
Instead of improving in this area, 5.03 seems to have taken a backward step.

Some of the shortcuts now gone from Ver 4.8: -
Esc key - reset the motors.
F12 – toggle between Design and Cutting screens.
Q – Quit from Cutting screen to Startup screen (Q again to quit Mat Designer completely).

When CutArt is placed on top of an existing opening, there seems to be no way to select the original underlying opening.

Cutting Info.
When in the Cutting Preview screen, it would be extremely useful to be able to see the cut size of the board as well as the overall size when cutting a mat with ‘Cut the Outside’ selected. Also, the filename of the mat being cut would be a nice addition.

The Fan is a delight, but is there a technique for accurately distributing a number of openings evenly around in a perfect circle of a given radius like numbers on a clock face?

Is this an appropriate post for this topic?
I second most of your additions The fan thing is reaching. But the file name that you are cutting, Yes I miss this one alot. Not to mention you really don't know if you have already saved it or which version it might be.
Hi John from EST!

Welcome to the Grumble. This is a very appropriate place for your questions, as is Wizard's own forum at www.wizardint.com/Forum.asp

We're very happy with 5.0.3, but never had the pleasure of trying 4.8 (we just received our machine in December). Have you tried the MERGE command yet? You can combine several openings to make unique designs.

Many defaults can be set at the main menu by clicking the DEFAULTS option. (default mat size, borders, default opening size, default fonts, blade depth, reveals, top/bottom first, dynamic outsides, etc) It uses these after you're editing a new mat.

I'm sure Dani (design guru) or Steve (lead programmer) will chime in to address your questions and suggestions.

Soon we'll be opening an image library here on the Grumble to trade our own creations. It's temporarily on hold, but soon...


[ 03-11-2004, 07:22 PM: Message edited by: Mike-L@GTP ]
Hi John, nice to see you here...

I'll see if I can address most of your issues:

1) I've been leaning towards adding a "sizes" button just for the borders like we have for the width and height fields, where you can have a both a standard list and a recent list. However your suggestion of just using the defaults has merit...

2) In the rush to get 5.0 out last year the keyboard shortcuts got sidelined a bit. We wanted to go towards a more conventional set of commands and we just never finished implementing all the ones we wanted to add. In the next version 5.1 all of those are back except for the Q for quit (though you can use the standard Alt-F4). We've also added a bunch of additional function keys and the PgUp-PgDown will cycle through the openings. 5.0.3 does have Ctrl-A for Select All, and Ctrl-XCV commands for Cut, Copy and Paste.

3) In 5.1 you'll be able to use PgUp-PgDown to cycle openings, but you now can do a Ctrl-A (or drag a selection window around them) to select both, and then Shift-Click the top opening to unselect it, which should bring the bottom opening (which is still selected) back to the top.

4) The board size was in there for a while, but we took it out since we already had the overall size of the board needed to cut with (which is still visible while it's cutting). We added so much other stuff to that screen in 5.1 that I'm getting concerned that it's now overly cluttered as it is. The saved filename is back though on both the cut and edit screens in the title bar.

5) Fan... it's on my list to do a full circular surround, but at this point we've deffered it to a future release. You should be able to do two separate fans with equal radii but with opposite signs, and just place on on top of each other, but you'll have to play with it a bit to get the center spacing adjusted correctly.

Glad you like the software... coincidentally, right before I saw this post I just downloaded your demo to take a look since I haven't seen your software in a while. Looks great!
Hi Steve, James, Mike,

Many thanks for the replies.

You are right James, we are never happy. Steve and his team have made such a vast improvement to what was a pretty good application to begin with, it seems a bit churlish to be wanting even more.

You are right mike, the merge function is inspired, one of our designs, which always took a bit of fiddling, can now be done at the touch of a button.

Steve, the select all, then deselect the topmost is so obvious.. Now why didn't I think of that first. Thanks for the tip.

I hope you don't think the screen too cluttered to display both the board size and the overall size. You see, while the Wizard is working, I am either cutting the back or the blank for the next mat. So I am very interested in having both sizes visible.

Thank you for the kind comment re EstLite

One more thing you might consider Steve.

A log file of all mats cut.

It needn't be a cumulitave thing which might gradually turn into a hard drive eating monster with the passing years. Just a record of the mats cut, perhaps on a daily basis, with each new day beginning afresh, wiping out the previous day's record.

I'm sure it's not just me, but it often happens that a 'one of' mat, which I havn't bothered to save, has to be re-done later that day due to damage or some unnoticed surface imperfection. It would be great to roll back and repeat that job without having to re-design from scratch.
Yeah, that one's under consideration too. As well as logging any config changes...
At the risk of pushing this wish thing too far...

In the design screen, the status bar will display the dimensions of each opening the mouse passes over. When the mouse is on the mat it would be nice if the overall mat dimensions could be displayed also.

The status bar also displays the xy coordinates of the current mouse position, to an apparent accuracy of one ten thousandth of an inch! Call me sloppy, but this seems to be a tad too accurate for me.
What would be very useful here, but maybe a bit tricky to implement, would be if the coordinates 'snapped' to the xy position of the sides/corners of the opening as the mouse pointer approached the edge of a layer
Already changed the status bar message in 5.1 to show the mat width and height if the mouse isn't over anything else...

Yeah, 4 decimal places is a bit overkill there, but 1) my global float-to-string function call is set that way so there's a consistant accuracy, and 2) from a marketing perspective it just "looks" more accurate. I've toyed with the notion of rounding to some base value (like the nearest 32nd of an inch, localized to different units of measure of course) but no one's made an issue out of it yet...

Have you tried the measuring tool (fourth button from the top on the right tool bar)? It'll snap and anchor to 9 different places (sides, corners, and center) on a opening, as well as snap to guides and the borders. Eventually I want the measuring tool to snap to any line or arc segment within an opening as that would be more useful in my opinion...
In 5.01 in the cut screen if you have the continous level checked. It stays checked even when you leave the screen. Go back to the design screen then come back. Should't everything go back to default?
Hi James, that is also fixed in the upcoming 5.1 version (not to be confused with 5.0.1) - the "Continuous Layer" and "Rail Dodge" features, as well as the new "Cut From Front" feature, are reset each time you go back to the Cut screen..
Originally posted by WizSteve:
Have you tried the measuring tool (fourth button from the top on the right tool bar)? It'll snap and anchor to 9 different places (sides, corners, and center) on a opening, as well as snap to guides and the borders.
Yes, but wouldn't it be great to be able to point to any corner of an opening and just read off the coordinates from the status bar?
Hmm... better yet, I could popup the hint window right below your mouse cursor, like I do when you move or resize an opening.
Just a couple more things Steve...

Any plans for a clip feature to complement Merge? That is, as well as being able to add the top layer to the bottom, as in Merge, it would be possible to subtract, using the top layer as a kind of mask. I believe that Clip could be as useful as Merge in helping to create something special or unique without having to resort to Vcadd.

By the way, has there been a survey to determine just how many people use Vcadd on a regular basis?

How do I turn off or bypass the welcome screen?
Yeah, we have much more stuff planned for the merge feature... most of which I can't divulge now, but you'll start to see more in 5.1. We've added a new "group selection" feature which merges openings together (and allows you to rotate the whole group instead of just individually), and the merge feature will evolve from there.

We don't have a method to turn off the intro/welcome screen, but since you have your own POS program there's probably several things you could be doing to integrate your POS with MatDesigner... send me an email if you're interested and I'll send you our POS interface specs.